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Canta Brasil by Kenny Barron

Pianist and Composer Kenny Barron has been described as "Ubiquitous." He has the unique ability to tap into the Universal element of any musical situation and still retain his own voice and Jazz sensibilities while adapting himself to stylistic differences. But his experience with Brazilian music seems to be much more than a stylistic adaptation and more in the vein of a love affair. There is a place in the heart of Samba where Barron makes himself completely at home. "Canta Brasil" is his second release of Brazilian Music after a decade ,his first was "Samboa", recorded in 1993. This project began with a chance encounter with what has been described as "Brazil’s Greatest Trio" - Trio da Paz " who features Drummer Duduka Da Fonesca, Bassist Nilson Matta and Guitarist Romero Lubambo. Sensing the musical possibilities and feeling a deep affinity with these master musicians, Barron assembled another New York based Brazilian Percussionist, Valtinho and newcomer Annie Drummond on Flute to record "Canta Brasil."

Kenny Barron wrote 4 tracks and Duduka Da Fonesca and Nilson Matta also contributed originals. The writing on all tracks is exceptional using not only Samba and Bossa Nova feels but also Baiao, which come from the North of Brazil and references from Candomble. But this is Jazz still in spirit and the rhythms blend and meld themselves so that that the two traditions create a new one, just as two separate lives become one in the best of marriages. This is not "Tipico" or an authentic rendering of the Brazilian rhythmic traditions, but great musicians bringing their art and meeting in a place where the new and unexpected can happen.

Kenny Barron is the master of Swing and every note does just that. There was little information available about Flautist Annie Drummond except that she was a student of Barron's. She has a unique and personal tone that fits perfectly with the organic, earthy sound of this CD. All of the musicians phrase together and support each other beautifully. Bassist Nilson Matta, who plays Acoustic Bass, delivers both plucked and Bowed solos and overall renders a fat, dark, lovely tone. Romero Lumbambo is playing acoustic guitar and is a formidable improviser as well as a virtuoso. Duduka and Valtinho provide a percussive world that floats, dances and breathes.

Every cut of "Canta Brasil" is a classic. This is music you can live with and return to. This is Kenny Barron at his best and obviously having a wonderful time. There is great artistry here, great music full of soul and warmth, the sensual, tropical world of Brazil alive and well in the cement mountains of Manhattan. Kenny Barron has spent a lifetime perfecting his art and has attained a level of mastery where everything seems effortless and right. It is a privilege to hear him in an environment where he can relax and gift us with his musical heart.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Kenny Barron
  • CD Title: Canta Brasil
  • Genre: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Sunnyside/Confluences Series
  • Tracks: Zumbi, Clouds, Paraty, Until Then, Bachaio, Thoughts and Dreams, Dona Maria, This Time
  • Musicians: Kenny Barron - Piano/Composer/Arranger; Nilson Matta - Bass; Duduka da Fonseca - Drums; Romero Lubambo - Acoustic Guitar; Anne Drummond - Flute; Valtinho - Percussion; Maucha Adnet - Vocals
  • Rating: Five Stars
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